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Posted on Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 3:53 p.m.

Extent of damage from burst pipe at Michigan Stadium not yet known

By Pete Bigelow


Officials say the extent of damage after a water pipe burst in Michigan Stadium isn't yet known.

University of Michigan officials say it's too early to determine the extent of damage or a timetable for repairs following a burst water pipe at Michigan Stadium on Thursday evening.

The pipe leaked water onto the venue’s east concourse for 20 to 30 minutes before university officials arrived and turned the water off.

An alarm alerted officials to the problem.

They arrived to find a valve on the exterior pipe had frozen, and the water spilled onto the concourse and through a first-floor area that housed the stadium’s VIP lobby.

Ceiling tiles and carpet on that level sustained water damage. Water also filled an elevator shaft, causing electrical damage, according to an initial report of the incident.

“The upper east side of the concourse and the VIP area bore the brunt of it,” said Rob Rademacher, Michigan’s associate athletic director for facilities and operations.

Workers still need to check for water damage behind walls on the first floor before the full extent of the damage is known.

“We’re going to have to look in the lobby down below, take some panel and wood off, and see how wet it is behind there,” he said.

That process had not been scheduled. 

Several events are scheduled for the Big House in January, but the pipe burst isn't expected to disrupt them.

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 11:59 a.m.

Another fine example of UM engineering.


Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

We haven't even touched the COLD weather yet? Hope they get some good heat tape or something around it before we sse -8 degreess or worse!


Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

Ok, guys, it's obviously RR's fault, Brandon and Coleman should be fired, the architects and all their first-degree relatives banished, and the whole Board of Regents drawn and quartered. Sheesh! Merry Christmas, folks; I hope everyone who needed them got nice new pajamas.

Ted Bundy

Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 11:45 a.m.

I'm sure the university will announce the total damage after the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl... Zing! Go Blue!

average joe

Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 11:33 a.m.

The place cost $250 million in design and build & there is a water valve exposed to the Michigan winter with water in it. More leaders & best....

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 8:35 a.m.

you mean that hockey game that either had somewhere between 86-113 thousand?


Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 8:16 a.m.

Does this have anything to do with the Hockey game? Was this pipe used to fill the hockey rink and someone forgot to winterize it afterwards?

3 And Out

Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 4:52 a.m.

That leaky pipe seems to be the only thing leaking out of the Michigan Athletic Department these days.


Sat, Dec 25, 2010 : 12:29 a.m.

Big water pipes are used for fire suppression systems not sinks and toilets. You don't use wet fire suppression systems in cold climates. I sure hope the heat went out somewhere allowing the pipe to freeze, instead of the alternative which is that the wet system has to be replaced with a dry one.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:14 p.m.

Bin Laden's at the Big House.Look out!Even us common ordinary folks know that u have to drain water from outside pipes during the winter here in Michigan.Or they just might burst. Someone blew it BIG TIME.


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:14 p.m.

Might be the trespasser?


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:13 p.m.

Another reason to fire Rich Rod...


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 7:47 p.m.

Might be 'terrists! Better close Main Street!


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 5:47 p.m.

Interesting, as I left Crisler after the basketball game last night around 8:00 pm. I heard and saw the flashing strobe alarm in the new corporate suites on the east side. I remember thinking to myself this was an odd time for testing the I know it wasn't a test of any kind.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 4:51 p.m.

"They arrived to find a valve on the exterior pipe had frozen..." Unacceptable. Its Michigan, its winter, its been cold. Exterior pipes can't have water in them unless they are heated.